7.26.2021

The Paper Daughters of Chinatown by Heather B. Moore // Review

My Review:
Based on the life of Missionary Donaldina Cameron, a courageous woman who devoted her life to rescuing Chinese girls and young women from human trafficking and prostitution. 

Well researched and richly woven, this book came highly recommended to me, and I would have to agree that they were right. The story follows Donaldina during her first decade of working with the Occidental Mission Home for Girls, as well as a young woman, Mei Lien, who believes that she is coming to America for an arranged marriage, but instead finds herself in a horrific situation at the mercy of the tong. 

A moving read, and a twisting plot, with moments of despair and bright spots of hope. I admired the courage of the girls, and Donaldina, who gave her life to the mission and loved each of the girls as her daughter. Tien is a courageous young woman, and I liked how she and Donaldina find a way to work together. 

This book deals with very difficult realities, but in a way that is not explicit, but allows the reader an emotional grasp of what they are dealing with. After reading this book I can't believe that this was the first time I'd ever heard of Donaldina Cameron! A powerful read that tells the story of a real life heroine and her fight to give Chinese girls brought illegally into the US a safe place and hope for a better future. A story of courage, faith, friendship, love and redemption, definitely one I'd recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

7.23.2021

The Chase by Lisa Harris // Review

Lucie's Review:

A high speed chase is underway as Madison and Jonas pursue bank robbers who live like they have nothing to loose. 

Madison having just recovering from a gunshot wound hits the ground running as she and her partner Jonas pursue the culprits behind a string of bank robberies in Seattle. This is a fast moving read with a lot going on, and even though it follows the same characters from the previous book, I don't think that readers who pick up just this book would find themselves lost.

Madison and Jonas are a great team, sharing their faith and difficult pasts I like how their friendship has grown and they can count on each other when it all goes down. I liked how it continues to follow some of the story threads from the first book, leaving some questions unanswered for the next book-- which I will definitely be reading. 

Overall this is a dynamic read with excellent characters, a fantastic slow burn romance, and a fast paced, action packed, high stakes chase that occurs over a handful of days. I didn't want to put it down, and I think that I even liked it a little better than the first book, which was fantastic! Highly recommend this excellent read by one of my go to favorite authors!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

7.22.2021

Regaining Mercy by Carolyn Miller // Celebrate Lit, Review, Giveaway



About the Book


Book: 
Regaining Mercy

Author: Carolyn Miller

Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance

Release date: June 29, 2021

A mom ready to do anything for her son. A man determined to win the woman he loves.

Going on Love at First Glance had seemed like such a good idea. She didn’t care about finding Mr. Right. No, Mindy Murray chose the reality TV show for more mercenary reasons.  A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do when it comes to feeding her son.

When Mindy returns to Elnora, the girl from the “wrong side of the island” just wants a chance to rebuild her reputation. Too bad the folks at church don’t practice what the preacher preaches.

Enter Dermott Reilly. The interim boss at Greener Gardens has always had a soft spot for Mindy and her son, but with his new responsibilities, an important garden competition, and a few other concerns, he finds it difficult to prove himself to her.

A tropical storm and a missing child prove that sometimes grace appears in the most unusual ways.

Regaining Mercy concludes the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series, featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily ever-afters.

The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.

 

Click here to get your copy!

 Review:

Mindy is struggling to hold down a job to support herself and her four year old son after a short stint on a reality dating show, and trying to stand up to the judgement of others. 

This is a sweet romance set on the islands in the aftermath of a reality dating show. It was a bit of a slower start for me, but picked up as it went along. Dermott has a big heart and I loved how he connected quickly with Jon, he is a good friend and doesn't care what other people think about Mindy's past. 

It was a sweet modern romance, with fun characters and adorable children. I loved the island setting and especially Mindy's sweet neighbor who shows genuine Christian love to her and her son. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About the Author



Carolyn Miller is an Australian author of inspirational romance, particularly that of the Regency era, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds where flawed people can grow in faith, hope and love through stories that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives.

 

More from Carolyn

Have you ever wondered what might happen if a failed TV reality star was to return home to her narrow minded community? What if she’s been tarred and feathered with disgrace?

In our world of insta-fame, selfies and fakebook, I find it fascinating that so many people are entranced by so-called reality TV, with its editing and narratives and shiny-eyed hopefuls chasing money, love and dreams. But what if it doesn’t work out? What happens next? How do you resume ‘normal life’ when you’ve been living in a very artificial world?

I enjoy writing fiction that is grounded in reality, with realistic, flawed characters who are on a God journey to find faith and freedom. My contemporary and historical novels often see characters struggle with the choices they’ve made (don’t we all?), which is exactly what single mom Mindy is dealing with.

Combine Mindy’s challenges with those faced by gardening expert, Dermott, a man whose stone wall building skills are better than his way with women, or his inability to hide his attraction to his former co-worker’s younger sister.

Regaining Mercy encourages us to see ourselves as God does, to not let the labels of the past to shape our future. Along the way, readers will enjoy the honest portrayals of family, friendship and faith.

I’m so glad people are really enjoying my new contemporary books, where I can bring my love of gardens (& my horticulturalist hubby’s expertise!) to a new audience. Want to see what’s growing in my garden? Check out my website www.carolynmillerauthor.com – and you might even see some of my husband’s famous stone walls!

If you enjoy stories of hope, heart and humor, then you’ll be sure to enjoy this novel about a prodigal and the patient gardener who helps her find God’s mercy – and renewed hope for her heart.

Happy reading!

Carolyn

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 21

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 21

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 22

Labor Not in Vain, July 22

lakesidelivingsite, July 22

She Lives To Read, July 23

deb's Book Review, July 23

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, July 24

CarpeDiem, July 24

Texas Book-aholic, July 25

Splashes of Joy, July 25

Connect in Fiction, July 25

Inklings and notions, July 26

Blogging With Carol, July 26

For Him and My Family, July 27

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 27

Aryn The Libraryan 📚 , July 28

Older & Smarter?, July 28

Lots of Helpers, July 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 29

Simple Harvest Reads, July 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, July 30

Lis Loves Reading, July 30

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 31

Kayem Reads, July 31

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 1

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, August 1

Cultivating Us, August 1

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 2 (Author Interview)

Daysong Reflections, August 2

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 3

Blossoms and Blessings, August 3

Joanne Markey, August 3

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Carolyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1102c/regaining-mercy-celebration-tour-giveaway

7.21.2021

The Cowgirl's Sacrifice by Tina Radcliffe // Prism Book Tour, Review and Giveaway

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Cowgirl's Sacrifice
(Hearts of Oklahoma #4)
By Tina Radcliffe
Inspirational Romance
Paperback & ebook, 224 Pages
July 27, 2021 by Love Inspired

This cowgirl has wandered back home…

Will she choose her past or her future?


Needing time to heal after a rodeo injury, Kate Rainbolt heads to her family ranch to accept the foreman job her brothers offered her months ago. But the position’s already been filled by her ex-boyfriend, Jess McNally, and the only open job reports to him. With Jess as her temporary boss—and turning into something more—might he finally convince Kate to put down roots?

Review: 

Kate returns home to Oklahoma for a new beginning after a rodeo injury puts her on the sidelines, but her job puts her working side by side with the man who's heart she broke 10 years ago.

This was a engaging read, I liked Kate from the start, she has a unique job, strong faith, and an independent streak. I admired her compassionate heart, and how she is willing to help others in need. I loved returning to Oklahoma, and seeing familiar faces from the previous books in the series. Though in case you were wondering this book works great as a standalone. 

I liked the strong themes of faith, as Kate reconnects with old friends learning more about her family, and reconnecting with Jess. I loved how she helps Jess's niece to be more confident around horses. I adored Jess's mother who has a kind heart, and doesn't hesitate to reach out to others. 

Overall, an engaging read about coming home, second chances and letting go, with a likable heroine who is determined and vulnerable, with a heart of gold. I liked the beautiful setting and familiar faces and new friends. A heartwarming and entertaining read, that makes for a fitting conclusion to the series. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

(Affiliate links included.)

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to Amazon affiliate links.)

About the Author


A freelance writer for over twenty years, Tina Radcliffe is a Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers Honor Roll member, and a four-time ACFW Carol Award finalist. Her Harlequin novels have won the ACFW Carol Award, the Holt Medallion and appeared on the Publishers Weekly Bestseller list. Besides her novel-length fiction, and her independent publishing releases, Tina has sold over three dozen short stories to Woman’s World Magazine. A US Army Veteran, a former registered nurse, and library cataloger, Tina resides in Arizona, where she writes fun, heartwarming romance and cozy mysteries. Visit her on the web at https://www.tinaradcliffe.com/


Tour Schedule


Tour Giveaway


One winner will receive a print copy of The Cowgirl's Sacrifice, a $25 Amazon gift card, Kitchen Aid Aqua Spatula, and Magnolia Table, Volume 2: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering (US and Canada)

Ends July 28, 2021

 
Grab Our Button!


7.19.2021

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton // Review

My Review:

Forbidden love in the wilds of Appalachia.

Cabinetmaker Ian Cameron comes to Mountain Laurel in hopes of claiming a place as his uncle's heir, but that title comes with more than a few entanglements. Ian is a man struggling to make sense of where he stands after coming from a complicated past, and an uneasiness about becoming a slaveholder. This is a well crafted novel, with well-built, complex characters good and bad, and more than your average amount of heartache. 

While I appreciated the well drawn characters and their well developed plights within the larger plot, the attention to detail and how the pieces fall, I can't honestly say that I enjoyed this book as it was a heart-rending read. This book is a bittersweet one, filled with heartache, secrets, and forbidden love, and while we don't quite get a resolution in this volume it leaves the door open for a much richer conclusion when the duology is complete. 

Overall, it is a bit of a mixed review from me, and I think that I will be able to form a more complete picture of how I feel about this book once I read the next one. This was a grittier read than the author's past books, but it fits the narrative of the story arc. But there is no doubt to the quality of this story, well written, with characters that had my heart breaking along with them. I liked how the events in this story force many of the characters to grow and confront their beliefs as they must reconcile their realities. A poignant and heartrending read. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

7.16.2021

The Trouble with Jenny by Kathy Geary Anderson // JustRead Review Tour

Review:
An adventure packed read, with a right people wrong time romance set against the Dakota and Wyoming Territories. 

Ben and Jenny have known each other for years, with Jenny always managing to drag Ben into some kind of trouble with her. Scandal and loss bring Ben and Jenny out west, where their separate adventures brings them together occasionally. There is a lot going on in this book with many plot pieces and a full cast of characters that they meet along the way. Though there were times when I wasn't sure I would like what the book was setting up, but then there would be a fabulous twist!

Jenny is a very outgoing person, with a compassionate heart for others, she makes friends easily and commits to things wholeheartedly. I liked that her brother is supportive of her throughout. 

This was an enjoyable read with a lot going on in this plot driven read, filled with great characters, and great twists! I like that Jenny challenges Ben's preconceived ideas getting him to more deeply on things, they have a great rapport and I liked seeing them together. An entertaining Western read to be sure!


I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.



7.15.2021

The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner // Review

My Review:

A compelling tale that masterfully weaves together three timelines as Mindy goes looking for more information about her biological family after being adopted in 1975 from Vietnam. 

I love Ms. Finkbeiner's books, they always have a gentle way of drawing me in and not letting me go till the last page is turned. A beautiful character driven novel told in three different perspectives set in different pivotal times, which I thought was so unique especially as Mindy's story was told in the context of the stories of her father, mother and sister, Sonny. 

A tender story with snapshots that shine with life, love and heartache. The author did a great job of handling the topic of adoption and some of the stigmas especially around foreign adoption. 

I think my favorite character had to be Ivan "Grumpy", he stole my heart with his enduring love and devotedness to his wife, and his love for his grandchildren. I admired his love for his family, positive attitude, and his little rebellions. 

Overall, a beautifully crafted story, told in a unique and engagingly character driven narrative. Tender recollections shining with love, pain, and strengthening relationships. Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

With You I Am by Cleopatra Margot // JustRead Tour, Review and Giveaway

With You I Am JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for With You I Am by Cleopatra Margot, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

With You I Am
Title: With You I Am
Series: Bryant Family #1
Author: Cleopatra Margot
Publisher: Faith to Love Publishing
Release Date: June 21, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Christian romance 

Event coordinator Noelle Carter's main priority is running the successful company her grandparents founded. After all, they're the ones who raised her, and she's the one they entrusted their company to after their deaths. So when a letter comes across her desk inviting her to plan the Spring Fling in her grandmother's hometown of Balsam Falls, Nebraska, she's faced with a choice: stay and work on maintaining Carter, Inc.'s current success, or go and take a leap of faith--outside of her comfort zone. 

For contractor Wynn Bryant, helping others is the key to life's greatest blessings. Over the past ten years, he and his brother have built homes for those who need them, creating a reputable name for themselves. Between that and helping out at the Serendipity Inn, his parents' bed and breakfast, he's put his other dreams on the back burner for now. Until the mayor ropes him into restoring The Gardens with a beautiful but guarded young CEO from Mississippi. 

Connected by a desire to help others, Wynn and Noelle dive into restoring a neglected piece of Balsam Falls's history while learning from, and of, their own pasts. Together they uncover past secrets, current challenges, and help each other discover healing and forgiveness in ways neither imagined. Will their discoveries lead to love, or are some things better left as they are? 

Review:

A heartwarming romance with a full cast of characters that I came to care for over the course of the story. I loved how Wynn and his brother are passionate about helping people in the community.  I also thought it was super cool that many of the characters were homeschooled as children, I especially liked Wynn's family, how they are so warm and welcoming, as well as expert advice givers!

This is such a fun, enjoyable read with amazing characters, in a lovely community. Wynn is a kind and intentional man, and I fell in love with his family. I loved how Wynn welcomes Noelle into his life and his family. Noelle likes to play it safe, and she has always worked hard. I loved seeing Noelle and Wynn get to know each other, and his family. 

Overall, a well written read with fantastic characters, a welcoming atmosphere, strong themes of faith and heartwarming romance. I definitely want to read more about the Bryant family in the future!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cleopatra Margot

Cleopatra Margot resides with her family and their golden retrievers in small town Nebraska. Inspiration for her novels comes from both real life + fictional storylines she dreams up. She was homeschooled alongside her two younger siblings, and she enjoys traveling with her family. When she’s not writing, Cleopatra enjoys reading, time with family and friends, spending time near water, playing games, and enjoying life.

CONNECT WITH CLEOPATRA: Website | FacebookInstagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed paperback book, a bookmark featuring a quote from the book, a vinyl sticker with a quote, and a $10 Starbucks gift card!

With You I Am JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight July 12, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on July 19, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

7.13.2021

Between the Wild Branches by Connilyn Cossette // Review

My Review:

A riveting story of redemption, family and unconditional love.

Lukio has returned to his birthplace in Ashdod, kicking and punching his way to the top as a renown fighter for the last ten years. He has left much of his Hebrew upbringing buried in Kiryat-Yearim, but a familiar face from the past changes everything.

I knew I would love Lukio's story ever since reading Eliora's story in To Dwell Among Cedars where I was first introduced to the tenderhearted, courageous, and at times rebellious Lukio. But this book blew past all my expectations and may be one of my favorites by this author, obviously the biggest reason for that is its hero. I think what made me like him so much was being able to see him grow up from a stubborn young boy and rebellious teen; how it all shaped him into a courageous man. I liked that he was honest with himself, and I admired how his love for Shoshanna matured throughout the story. 

I loved getting to know Shoshanna more from the mere glimpses we got of her in the previous book, she is a kind and compassionate woman, brave with a gift for comforting others. 

This is a gripping read, it grabbed me up quickly and I didn't want to put it down. It is a well plotted read filled with danger, high stakes, and many beautiful friendships. I loved how the pieces fell into place for some excellent twists that had me crowing with glee. Excellent plotting and pacing, well balanced character development and filled with adventure. But probably my favorite parts of this book are the friendships, unlikely and unexpected at times, between people of different stations in life and cultures, a wonderful example of how God can use us and others in each other's lives. The perfect second half of a fantastic duology, highly recommend to fans of Biblical fiction and ancient historical fiction!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Make You Feel My Love by Robin Lee Hatcher // JustRead Tour, Review, and Giveaway


Make You Feel My Love JustRead Blog Tour 

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Make You Feel My Love by Robin Lee Hatcher, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Make You Feel My Love

Title: Make You Feel My Love
Author: Robin Lee Hatcher
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance

One broken woman. One lost man. And the long-buried secrets tying them together. 

After escaping an abusive relationship, Chelsea Spencer flees to Chickadee Creek—the town where her great aunt Rosemary owns a quaint little antique shop. There, Chelsea plans to help with the shop as her aunt heals from an accident—and perhaps find some healing of her own. 

Liam Chandler was one film away from a leading role when his brother Jacob was stricken with cancer. After spending the last months of Jacob’s life with him in Boise, Liam heads to the vacation home he built outside of Chickadee Creek to get his life and his faith back on track. 

While working to clean out a storage room in the antique shop, Chelsea finds an old violin. Aunt Rosemary says she may have the instrument, but they soon learn it is very valuable and once belonged to Cora Chandler, Liam’s great-great-grandmother. 

Drawn together by the old violin and stories from the past, Chelsea and Liam begin to find answers for their present and the future God has in store for them.

Review:

Over 100 years apart two women find new beginnings, hope, and love in rural Chickadee Creek. 

An invitation to help out her great-aunt at her antique shop after a fall, is the perfect escape for Chelsea Spencer who is looking for a place to lay low after leaving am abusive relationship. There she discovers a violin that carries the story of Cora Anderson, a woman over 100 years ago who left a controlling father to find a fresh start on her own. 

Chelsea has been through a lot in her life, and I admired her courage in taking that leap of faith to leave a horrible situation. I really liked how she held onto her faith after what she experienced. Aunt Rosemary welcomes Chelsea's help, she is a wealth of stories, with her own unique way of organizing things, an she isn't above some matchmaking!

This something of a dual-timeline read, though the main story is more about Chelsea, I enjoyed both storylines. Cora breaks free of her father's unfavorable plans for her life, and I loved how God brought wonderful friends into her life, as well as her love of music. Liam is re-valuating his life after moving back to Chickadee Creek from life as a working actor in Hollywood, I admired his strong values and his faith. 

Overall, this was a touching romance, with wonderfully crafted characters, a welcoming rural community, and an engaging dual time storyline. I loved both Chelsea and Cora, who were strong heroines full of faith and courage. This was a quick read for me, because I didn't want to put it down and I was equally invested in both Cora and Chelsea's stories and where they would lead. Another fantastic read from one of my favorite authors, Robin Lee Hatcher!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
 

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robin Lee Hatcher

Robin Lee Hatcher is the author of over 80 novels and novellas with over five million copies of her books in print. She is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. Her numerous awards include the RITA Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, the HOLT Medallion, the National Reader’s Choice Award, and the Faith, Hope & Love Reader’s Choice Award. Robin is also the recipient of prestigious Lifetime Achievement Awards from both American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. When not writing, she enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, Bible art journaling, reading books that make her cry, watching romantic movies, and decorative planning. Robin makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with a demanding Papillon dog and a persnickety tuxedo cat.

CONNECT WITH ROBIN: Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(3) winners will receive a print copy of Make You Feel My Love by Robin Lee Hatcher!

Make You Feel My Love JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight July 13, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on July 20, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Print copy US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours 

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

7.12.2021

A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham // Celebrate Lit Tour, Review, and Giveaway



About the Book

 


Book:  A Lady in Attendance

Author: Rachel Fordham

Genre: Christian Historical

Release date: June 1, 2021

Will the Past Destroy Her Future? 

Ada, Mi.—Rachel Fordham’s historical novels have received high praise for their warm and engaging story lines filled with romance, adventure, and happy endings. In A Lady in Attendance, Fordham beautifully blends these same great features in a novel about overcoming obstacles in the past to make room for a better future.

After spending the last five years in a New York state reformatory, Hazel is desperate to begin life anew, but she knows that a tarnished name could ruin her chances. She accepts a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts’ lady in attendance but does so under an alias so she can hide her shameful past.

Dr. Watts has come to enjoy the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, but he senses her sadness and wonders if there is more to her story than she’s shared with him. As their friendship deepens, Hazel must grapple with her desire to trust him.

Can Dr. Watts and Hazel’s friends help expunge her record? And can Hazel possibly find hope and love along the way?

 

Click here to get your copy!

 My Review:

As a dental assistant myself, I knew I had to read this book once I read that it featured someone who shared my profession. This book is part sweet romance and another part compelling mystery as Hazel fights to clear her name with faithful friends by her side. 

I loved that this book featured relatable situations with difficult patients that brought a smile to my face. Gilbert is a dashingly earnest hero, he is more reserved, always respectful, thoughtful, but says what he means. He is endearingly a rule follower, I liked his slow to speak demeanor and his easy relationship with Hazel. Hazel is hardworking, and a faithful friend to Ina. I adored Ina and Duncan's story, they are both wonderful friends to Hazel and Gilbert, standing by them through it all. 

Overall, this was an compelling, tender romance, and redemption story. I loved the interaction between Gil and Hazel, as well as the mysterious backstory woven in as we delve into Hazel's past. Gilbert has got to be one of my favorite heroes, because he takes time to take in the details, thinking through things for solutions rather than reactions, as well as his loyalty as a friend. A captivating read from beginning to end, with charmingly well crafted characters.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About the Author

Rachel Fordham is the author of The Hope of Azure Springs, Yours Truly, Thomas, and A Life Once Dreamed. Fans expect stories with heart, and she delivers, diving deep into the human experience and tugging at reader emotions. She loves connecting with people, traveling to new places, and daydreaming about future projects that will have sigh-worthy endings and memorable characters. She is a busy mom, raising both biological and foster children (a cause she feels passionate about). She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.

More from Rachel

Ten behind the scenes extras from A Lady in Attendance:

  1. This book takes place in Amherst and Buffalo New York, places I lived for four years. Buffalo has had some rough years but if you ever visit the area you will see gorgeous old buildings, beautiful parks and cemeteries and understand why it was once a booming and prosperous city (and why I love it still). Gilbert and Hazel both grew up in the area (though, they did not know each other until the story begins). Two of my children were born in Buffalo and though they aren’t being raised there, I tell them stories.
  2. Hazel spent five years in a New York State reformatory. Reformatories were basically the first juvenile delinquent facilities (the ages of who could be sentenced there was different from today). Reformatories were a new idea. There were still a lot of people who believed in “bad blood” and that a criminal could never be anything but a criminal. There were some heroes who fought hard to convince the public, that people could change. Because of this book’s storyline, I could not go too deeply into this subject, but it is fascinating!
  3. Gilbert Watts is this book’s leading man. I gave up on being able to use the name Gilbert on one of my own kids and instead gave it to a character. I adore the name Gilbert and everything about this character, hope you do too!
  4. There is a joke at the end of the book about a graveyard (don’t worry, it’s not scary) and it’s a nod to my mom who used to use this joke on us every time we passed a cemetery. I really love sneaking in things into my stories that will make my kids, family and friends smile when they read it. I often think of my books as love letters from me to others and the best kind of love letters are personal.
  5. My husband is a dentist and as a result, we tend to notice dentist in media. They are often portrayed as villains or comic relief. I decided it would be my goal to write a romantic dentist that would change the image in readers minds.
  6. Gilbert tells Hazel that being a dentist is really being an artist. When my husband was first trying to decide on a career path, he shadowed a dentist. He didn’t really think it would be for him, but he was open to exploring options. He came home and told me that the cool thing about dentistry was that you were essentially making art that was functional, every day. Little sculptures that helped people eat and smile better. Gilbert from the book is very different from my husband, but it was fun sneaking in little pieces of him in there.
  7. One of my favorite scenes from this book take place at a corn husking. There is a tradition that says, if a red ear of corn is found, the finder gets a kiss. Sigh, I love that scene!
  8. Without always meaning to, my books end up having messages woven into them. I believe one of the messages in A Lady in Attendance is forgiveness. In this case, it’s forgiving of one’s self. I believe this message is one that we all need at some point in our lives (or many points!).
  9. My books are coming out in a different order than they were written in. I actually wrote this book before Yours Truly, Thomas and after A Life Once Dreamed. This story has been waiting a long time to be in print! During that time, it has been reshaped in little ways. It gained a prologue and lost an epilogue, it was tamed down in places and intensified in others, but the heart of it has always been the same!
  10. One last piece of A Lady in Attendance trivia—several of my books have had their titles changed. It’s part of the writing process. The books get a working title and later a title that the rest of the world knows it by. The Hope of Azure Springs was originally just Azure Springs. Yours Truly, Thomas was originally Dear, Azure Springs. A Life Once Dreamed was originally The Belle of Penance. A Lady in Attendance began as A Lady in Attendance and stayed A Lady in Attendance. Not only is this title fitting because dental assistants were knowns by this or as an attending lady, but also because Hazel wrestles with her worth. In a society that believes a mistake made once can leave a mark forever, it takes the right eyes and open heart to realize that there truly is a lady in attendance.

Blog Stops

Girls in White Dresses, June 30

The Sacred Line, June 30

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, June 30

lakesidelivingsite, July 1

Inklings and notions, July 1

For Him and My Family, July 2

Reflections From My Bookshelves, July 2

Mary Hake, July 2

deb's Book Review, July 3

Remembrancy, July 3

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, July 4

Reviewingbooksplusmore, July 4

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, July 5

Breny and Books, July 5

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, July 6

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 6

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 6

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 7

The Christian Fiction Girl, July 7

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, July 8

Simple Harvest Reads, July 8 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

Jeanette's Thoughts, July 8

Older & Smarter?, July 9

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 9

Connie's History Classroom, July 10

For the Love of Literature, July 10

Pause for Tales, July 10

Splashes of Joy, July 11

Life of Literature, July 11

Daysong Reflections, July 12

Bliss, Books & Jewels, July 12

Labor Not in Vain, July 12

Through the fire blogs, July 13

Texas Book-aholic, July 13

Blossoms and Blessings, July 13

Giveaway



To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away the grand prize package of a paperback copy of A Lady in Attendance as well as A Life Once Dreamed by Rachel Fordham, a signed bookplate, book swag, and a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

 https://promosimple.com/ps/10e71/a-lady-in-attendance-celebration-tour-giveaway